‘Vacation Friends’ Review: Lightweight Comedy Earns Guffaws with Familiar Mix of Raunch and Sentiment

Just as it’s easy to imagine “The Hangover” being transformed, with relatively minor script tinkering, into a deadly serious film noir, one can envision an early draft of “Vacation Friends” serving as the blueprint for a paranoid thriller about vacationers who discover much too late that their new acquaintances are aggressively chummy for all the wrong reasons.Indeed, there is a teasing hint in an early scene of director Clay Tarver’s comedy that at least one of those acquaintances may have sinister ulterior motives.

And that impression is shrewdly enhanced by the inspired casting of Jon Cena, a superstar WWE grappler who’s proven capable of suggesting dark undercurrents — or, in the case of the recent “F9,” raising those currents to flood level — even when he’s demonstrating his comic chops.But no: There’s no tonal switcheroo comparable to Jonathan Demme’s “Something Wild” here.

Truth to tell,

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